|"We're in the middle of a campaign!"
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"The Party" is a close-knit group formed by the four boys Mike Wheeler, Will Byers, Lucas Sinclair and Dustin Henderson, which now includes Eleven and Max Mayfield. After the disappearance of Will in 1983, the Party became instrumental in reacting to the odd phenomena occurring in their hometown. The Party typically use 'Dungeons & Dragons' terminology as a means to explain the paranormal phenomena they encounter.
In November 1983, Mike, Dustin and Lucas encountered Eleven when they were investigating Will's disappearance. Within a short time, they befriended her and accepted her into the party. Later, in 1984, Max Mayfield joined the party, and the older teens like Steve Harrington, Nancy Wheeler, and Jonathan Byers became important allies to them.
Prior to 1983, the Party contained four boys: Mike Wheeler, Will Byers, Lucas Sinclair, and Dustin Henderson.
Mike Wheeler and Will Byers met in kindergarten in 1976; on the first day of school, Mike approached Will on the swing set and asked him to be his friend, to which Will happily agreed. Sometime later, Mike's neighbor, Lucas Sinclair, joined the friend group. In the fall of 1980, following the boys growing a love for D&D, they soon added Dustin Henderson into the group, who had recently moved into town.
Shortly after Will went missing, the rest of the party began searching for him. Instead of finding Will, they stumbled upon Eleven, a girl with telekinetic powers. While Lucas was initially skeptical about her, Mike readily trusted her and accepted her into the party, not only because he cared for her but also she appeared to have information about Will. Eleven helped the boys search for Will. She claimed that Will was "hiding." When they saw what appeared to be Will's dead body, the boys gave up the search. Eleven managed to convince Mike that Will was alive by contacting him through Mike's Supercom. To convince Lucas and Dustin, Mike had Eleven contact Will at their school, using their AV Club radio. Eleven successfully managed to contact Will, who was trying to tell mother Joyce Byers where he was.
From Will's description of his location being "like home, but dark, empty, and cold," the boys realized that Will was trapped in another dimension where it is a darker version of their hometown of Hawkins. Mike, Lucas, and Dustin learned from their science teacher Mr. Clarke that the only way to get into the Upside Down is through a Gate, a tear between time and space. The boys decided to look for the gate with their compasses, knowing the gate would have a strong electromagnetic field. Eleven used her powers to lead the boys away from the gate's location at Hawkins National Laboratory. This lead to a fight between Mike and Lucas, with Lucas storming off and Eleven running away.
When Mike and Dustin realized that Eleven was really trying to protect them, they went out to look for her. Lucas went alone to find the gate. When Lucas arrived at the lab and noticed all of the armed government agents, he realized that Eleven was truly trying to keep them safe. Around the same time, Eleven saved Mike and Dustin from bullies Troy Walsh and James Dante and the three reconciled.
After evading the government agents who arrived at the Wheeler House, Mike, Dustin and Eleven reunited with Lucas. Eleven flipped a van over their heads, which stopped the agents' pursuit. At the junkyard, the group made amends with each other. While they hid in the junkyard, the kids were contacted by radio by Mike's older sister, Nancy and Police Chief Jim Hopper. Mike revealed their location and Hopper came to their rescue. Hopper took the kids to the Byers' house. The kids explained their discoveries to Joyce, Hopper, Nancy, and Jonathan at the Byers House. Eleven tried to locate Will, using her powers, while she was at the Byers' house, but was unable to do so. The group went to Hawkins Middle School to construct a sensory deprivation tank. After Eleven located Will in the void, Hopper and Joyce left to rescue Will while the kids stayed at the middle school. Nancy and Jonathan leftto try to kill the Demogorgon, which left the kids alone. The kids were ambushed by the government agents led by Dr. Martin Brenner and agent Connie Frazier. When the Demogorgon arrived and attacked the agents, the boys carried an exhausted Eleven to the science class. There, Eleven saved the boys and killed the Demogorgon, but vanished, leaving her fate unknown.
Will was successfully rescued from the Upside Down and was reunited with his friends and family. A month later, during Christmas, the boys celebrated though Mike was still saddened by Eleven's disappearance. At home, Will vomited up a small slug-like creature, and experienced a vision of the Upside Down.
After Will's rescue from the Upside Down and Eleven's disappearance, Will started having visions from the Upside Down, including that of a shadow monster. The boys met a new girl named Max Mayfield and discovered her to be the arcade player "MADMAX" who beat Dustin's high score on Dig Dug. Both Lucas and Dustin developed crushes on her and welcomed her into the party while Will did not mind, but Mike grew annoyed as he did not want her to take Eleven's place. However, as the boys continued to keep secrets about the Upside Down and the truth of Will's disappearance, Max grew irritated and left the party. Lucas eventually told her the truth, but Max did not believe him until she saw an adolescent Demogorgon for the first time.
Dustin worked with Steve Harrington to try and hunt down Dart and they later became best friends. Steve later joined the party after befriending all of the party members.
Will would become possessed by The Mind Flayer, causing the party to work together to find a way to save Will and Hawkins. Mike, Lucas, and Dustin would eventually reunite with Eleven who'd spent a year in hiding with Jim Hopper.
After freeing Will from the Mind Flayer and closing the gate to the Upside Down, the party attended their school's Snow Ball together. As they dance, Mike and Eleven form a relationship as does Lucas and Max.
By the summer of 1985, romantic relationships were formed amongst the Party with those being between Mike and Eleven (who had become Hopper's adopted daughter), Lucas and Max, and Dustin with a girl named Suzie. Will was the only member of the Party to not be in a romantic relationship as Will was struggled to catch to the childhood he'd lost when affected by the Upside Down for two years.
Hopper had grown uncomfortable with Mike and Eleven's growing relationship and had started to worry over the two spending too much time together and felt the two were growing up too fast. Hopper tried to express his worries after getting advice from Joyce, but when he saw that Mike and Eleven were not ready to hear his thoughts and feelings, he forced Mike to lie to Eleven so the two can have some space between each other.
As before, the Party became involved in the Upside Down once more: however this time, Will Byers was able to provide additional help as the fragment of the Mind Flayer that once resided in him left him with the ability to sense the monster's activity.
Three months afterward, the Party becomes fragmented when the Byers move out of Hawkins to Lenora Hills, California.
The four remaining members of the Party were now freshmen at Hawkins High. Mike, Lucas and Dustin had joined the school's Dungeons & Dragons club, Hellfire Club, ran by Eddie Munson, though Lucas had joined the school's basketball team, which conflicted his schedule with the Hellfire Club. Max had begun seeing the school counselor following her stepbrother's death, though she has pushed away all of her friends. Meanwhile, Eleven and Will struggled to adjust to life in California, as classmates would bully El daily and Will dealing with his crush.
Members & Their Roles
- Mike Wheeler: Paladin
- Will Byers: Cleric
- Lucas Sinclair: Ranger
- Dustin Henderson: Bard
- Eleven: Mage
- Max Mayfield: Zoomer
- Steve Harrington
- Nancy Wheeler
- Jonathan Byers
- Joyce Byers
- Jim Hopper
- Robin Buckley
- Erica Sinclair
- Suzie Bingham
- Eddie Munson
With the purpose of avoiding conflict, both socially and within gameplay, the four founders created some rules, calling it, the Rule of Law.
|“||Friends don't lie.||”|
As said by Mike and Lucas, this is the most important rule of the party. Friends always have to stay true towards each other, no matter what happens. Eleven seemingly adheres to this rule quite often.
|“||You draw first blood, you shake hands.||”|
|“||Obey the rule of law or be banished from the party.||”|
- As said by Mike, this is also important. When Lucas tells Max about the Upside Down, Dustin tells Lucas that he broke the rule of law.
- Later in 1986, Dustin and Max did the same thing when they told Eddie Munson about the Upside Down alongside Robin and Steve.
- The word "Party" is a reference to Dungeons & Dragons, as it is the term used by the game's rulebook(s) to describe a group of allied player characters. The game itself is often used to describe monsters and phenomena the Party is attempting to understand.
- Suzie is the only ally that has no knowledge of the Upside Down.
- Eleven and Will are the only two members of the Party to possess supernatural abilities: Eleven was born and later trained her powers, while Will's only power of sensing the Mind Flayer came from being a prior host.
- Everyone in the Party except Will has or is currently in a romantic relationship.
- Max is the first one of the younger teenagers to be seen driving. This granted her the specific role of "zoomer", a term that uniquely is not derived from Dungeons and Dragons.
- If one sticks to established classes, Max would likely be their Thief, as the class is focused on speed and stealth. In addition, Max’s tendency to go rogue - as shown early in season 3 with Eleven - fits well with the thief)
- Lucas and Mike are the only members of the Party who live with both of their biological parents.
- Max, Will and Dustin are the only members of the Party who live with at least one of their biological parents.
- Eleven is the only member of the Party who doesn't live with any of her biological parents.
- Eleven and Dustin are the only members of the Party who have committed murder.
- Eleven and Max are the only two female members and additionally, the only two that have not played Dungeons and Dragons or have been part of the AV Club or the Hellfire Club.
- In the "Elder Tree" campaign of 1979, Nancy participated and dressed up as an elf.
- As of The Piggyback, every member of the party has cried at least once.
- Mike cried in Holly, Jolly, The Gate, and The Piggyback.
- Will cried in Will The Wise, The Case of the Missing Lifeguard, The Battle of Starcourt (along with the other party members), Papa, and The Piggyback.
- Dustin cried in The Gate, Suzie, Do You Copy?, and The Piggyback.
- Max cried in The Sauna Test, The Battle of Starcourt, Dear Billy, and The Piggyback.
- Lucas cried in The Piggyback, which was the first time he was shown physically crying.
- Eleven cried in many episodes, more than any of the party.
- Of all the members of the party, Eleven has cried the most.